So, in the Spirit of giving, my normally absentee sister has agreed to pick up Dad and take him to his favorite clothing store in our hometown to buy a suit (she's not going to pay for it -- yet I digress)
I'm just CONCERNED for many reasons:
First, the trip just seems ODD. I'm not sure of the motive here, and I want to make sure that he's protected.
His dementia has made him quite careless with money, and I don't want him traveling 1.5 hours away with his debit or credit card that could be lost or misused. Cash is totally out of the question. My "fix" for this is just to get him a prepaid card at about $200 and convince him that he only needs ONE suit.
In actuality, he doesn't even NEED that. Daddy rarely goes anywhere that requires him to dress up, and he struggles with suit elements like buttons, zippers, cuff links, neckties, etc. My guess is that he is going to get frustrated simply trying on the suit.
In addition, I spent $300 on some dressy clothes for him last summer but HE DOESN'T REMEMBER the trip! He's NEVER worn the clothes, and when I show him the brand new outfits with the tags still on them, he says he doesn't like them. HE PICKED THEM OUT PERSONALLY!!!!
He's somehow got it in his head that someone stole his old dress clothes, but once again he doesn't remember when we personally went through his wardrobe when we moved him from the house and he told us which items he wanted to donate to charity. Most of the clothes were terribly out of date and too big (I wish I would have kept some of them now).
So... I'm trying not to be so controlling (even though this suit will be a COMPLETE waste of money that we could use on other expenses) and it looks like I'm just going to have to grit and bear this POINTLESS purchase.
Any suggestions here?
BTW... I was going to try to get him a suit from Goodwill and give it as a gift, but he feels like he MUST go to this store and purchase a brand new (unneeded) suit from there....
I did speak to the store owner's son ahead of time and he ended up giving Dad a full suit (even a spiffy hat with a feather), shirt, tie AND shoes for less than $75!!! He was so happy to see Dad! Dad never picked up on the fact that he was the SON (his father transitioned a few years ago), but since they have the same name, he just went along with it.
It's heartwarming to know that people do still have compassion on the elderly. This was the first drama free holiday I've experienced for a long time. To see Dad's face and hear the story (repeated ad nauseum of course) was PRICELESS.
Our relationship is quite strained to say the least, but this was worth it.
You leave store and maybe dad will forget in a few days about the suit.
Maybe you can buy an inexpensive tie or shirt there or somewhere else to satisfy him.
It wouldn't surprise me if that is what's happening to your father. Being able to, or having funds to spend money can create a sense of well being that counters some of the negativity of being old, of not having enough money, or being ill, and other effects.
I think that's one of the principles behind the sometimes exorbitant contributions to charities and scam charities. And I suspect it's a factor in sales techniques and tactics used by retailers at all levels.
He tells stories of how this shop was one of the only places in the downtown area that would patronize people of color (gotta love the South). So the memories alone are worth the small sacrifice.
I also instructed her to text me photos of EVERY receipt as I will definitely be watching.
And yes, this is definitely a "pick your battles" thing. I am going to find a middle ground here and let him get a suit. It's a small price for happiness. Let's hope he remembers buying it this time...
If he can afford it, then, I'd provide a certain amount to whoever takes him shopping for them to handle the money. Regardless of what he may say, he could lay it down, drop it, etc. The other person would have to keep up with the money. I wouldn't negotiate on that. In some phases, convincing and getting agreements just aren't possible and you have to take a firm stand..nicely of course.
So, I'd pick my battles and if he could afford it, I wouldn't fight over, just insist on how the money is handled.
When he's shopping, a kind supporter might say, daddy, what you have in your closet looks as good as this stuff, plus, we save money by using it. He may agree with you.
About the suit, some old people I know had their funeral clothes hanging in their closets, any possibility that is what is going through his head?
I wouldn't be surprised that Dad has sticker shock at the price of suits. Can't get a new suit from Sears Catalog for $15 any more.
In my area, it is acceptable to wear jeans with a nice tweet sports jacket. Doubt your Dad would go for that style.